This excerpt is taken from ABI’s new e-course “Pricing Strategies for Artists & Makers” now available through CraftOnlineUniversity. Course runs through February 8, 2016.
In general, if you have an art website, we recommend that yes, you should have prices listed on each piece that you are offering for sale. This is so that visitors to your site will have some idea of your price range.
Will your website visitors send an email or call you to find out how much you’re charging for your art? Not very likely. How many people who could afford your work are seeing it and loving it – and then moving on, to purchase from another artist who does list their prices?
Failing to set prices withholds vital information, and a lack of information never inspired anyone to buy. Shoppers who are confused or feel uninformed won’t be pulling out their credit cards any time soon. This is a major reason why some artists never seem to get any action from their website.
In fact, we recommend that artists strongly consider having a shopping cart on their website too, if it is appropriate for their work. Providers such as BigCartel, Shopify, and even Etsy can act as your e-commerce solution, so that you actually have an online store.
The exceptions: When should you not list art prices on your website?
- If you have an agreement with a gallery that represents you specifically precluding you from listing prices or selling from your website, respect that contract. But do put active links on your site directing the visitor to the gallery’s website. (We suggest you link directly to the page on their site that shows your work, rather than to their Home page.)
- Some things can’t always easily be priced, like special commissions, but again you could give a range. You might mention that commissions generally run 10% higher than your regular prices, and invite website visitors to contact you to discuss their needs.
- And what if the work really isn’t for sale? You may want to show images of work that is already sold, that you are saving for a show or exhibition, or that you truly love and don’t want to part with at all. Mark them NFS or “collection of the artist.” Then, list your prices on work that is for sale.